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Country Discussion Topics
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History lesson
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Reddee    Posted 07-17-2003 at 20:30:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
Some of these are really interesting....
> > History Lesson
> >
> > Some old History - a must read.
> >
> > The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water
> > temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to
be.
> >
> > Here are some facts about the 1500s:
> >
> > Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in
May
> > and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to
> smell
> > so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.
> >
> > Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
> >
> > Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house
> > had
> > the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men,
> > then
> > the women and finally the children-last of all the babies. By then the
> > water
> > was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.
> >
> > Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath"
> >
> > Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood
underneath.
> > It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and
> > other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it
> > became
> > slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof.
> >
> > Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs"
> >
> > There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed
a
> > real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really
> > mess
> > up your nice clean bed.
> >
> > Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some
> > protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.
> >
> > The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.
> >
> > Hence the saying "dirt poor".
> >
> > The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when
> > wet,
> > so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing.
As
> > the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened
the
> > door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in
> the
> > entranceway.
> >
> > Hence the saying a "thresh hold."
> >
> > In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that
> always
> > hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the
> > pot.
> > They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the
> > stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and
> > then
> > start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been
> > there for quite a while.
> >
> > Hence the rhyme, "Peas porridge in the pot nine days old."
> >
> > Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.
When
> > visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a
> > sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut
off
> > a
> > little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."
> >
> > Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content
> > caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning,
> > often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were
> > considered poisonous.
> >
> > Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of
the
> > loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper
crust."
> >
> > Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would
> sometimes
> > knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road
would
> > take them for dead and prepare them for burial.
> >
> > They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the
> family
> > would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would
wake
> > up.
> >
> > Hence the custom of holding a "wake."
> >
> > England is old and small and the local folks started running out places
to
> > bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a
> > "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of
> 25
> > coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized
> > they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a
> string
> > on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through
the
> > ground and tie it to a bell.
> >
> > Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard
> > shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the
bell"
> > or was considered a "dead ringer."
> >
> > And that's the truth...
> >
> > Now , whoever said that History was boring!


screaminghollow    Posted 07-18-2003 at 07:41:06       [Reply]  [No Email]
Better never look up the real meaning of "Ring around a Rosie" Sign of the flea bite leading to the bubonic plague. "A pocket full of posies" The smell of the overwhelming number of dead caused folks to carry a pocket full of flowers. "Ashen, Ashen, All fall down" Just before death from the plague, folk's complexion turned very gray, or ashen, then they'd collapse, ie fall down.
The woman who composed the rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle" spent years in jail for making fun of the Royal Court. It seems, a courtier whose nick name was "the dish" ran away with the Queen's taster, "the spoon." Imagine what would happen to Sat Night Live back in them days.


Willy-N    Posted 07-17-2003 at 20:56:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
I like those, it gives the old sayings a different meaning! Mark H.


Cindi    Posted 07-18-2003 at 05:39:20       [Reply]  [No Email]
I love hearing where all our old sayings came from. Neat.


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